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Winter Safety Awareness Week continues through Friday

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Severe weather preparedness stressed, no matter the type of threat

Winter Safety Awareness Week commenced Sunday and continues through Friday, a public awareness campaign coordinated by the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness and Emergency Management Association of Ohio.

Severe weather that threatened the area Sunday came not in the form of traditional winter weather like snow or ice, but tornado watches and straight line winds.

Winter safety awareness initiatives are designed to remind residents to prepare disaster kits for the home and vehicle, and updating disaster preparedness plans. Disaster kits, evacuation routes and home weatherization plans are good ideas, no matter the kind of severe weather threat, according to the EMA.

And it’s not like Ohio hasn’t also seen some winter weather. An Oct. 24 weather event dropped several inches of snow on the northeast part of the state, according to Ohio EMA.

An ice and snow event Nov. 12 caused each public Logan County school to close for the day.

Hints of winter weather along with the threat of late-season thunderstorms should prompt homeowners to cut and remove low-hanging and dead tree branches, EMA reports. Ice, snow and strong winds can cause tree limbs to break and fall. Ice and snow buildup can also clog gutters.

Portable generators, furnaces and fireplaces should be serviced prior to use to guard against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Also, residences should be equipped with lots of non-perishable food and bottled water. Batteries should be changed in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and radios. Winter emergency kits should also include warm clothing, blankets, flashlights and a gallon of water per person per day.

Vehicles should receive winter tune-ups, including oil changes and tire and battery checks.

Families are encouraged to develop and practice plans in the event of an evacuation or if they have to take shelter.

For additional information on winter weather safety and severe weather preparedness, visit www.weathersafety.ohio.gov.

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